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Sexual abuse

Karen DeWitt/WXXI News

It was an emotional day Wednesday as hundreds of childhood sexual abuse survivors filed lawsuits in New York courts on the first day of a one-year window of opportunity for victims to seek civil action against their abusers. 

Susanne Robertson and her two sisters were orphans at St. Colman's Home in Watervliet, near Albany, where she said they were routinely abused by the nuns and other staff there. When one of the girls reported the sexual abuse to a nun at the home, she was transferred to an orphanage for mentally disabled children. 

freeimages.com/James Chan

Kevin Higley can't remember if it was the summer of 1987 or the summer of 1988, but he does know he was 14 years old and serving as an altar boy at St. Mary of the Assumption Church in Scottsville.

He said a parish priest, Father Paul Cloonan, asked him to go with him to visit a nearby monastery.

"And in the car on the way back from the monastery, he asked me if I could help him with a medical issue," Higley said.